Third in a series of who I am and what this blog is about. I do, indeed, lead a fur-filled life! With five (at least!) dogs and two cat-dogs. No, I’m not crazy. Well, maybe a little. You get to be the judge. Without further ado, let me introduce you to one of my crew, the cats and dogs I fondly call my fur-children.
“I just adopted a cute little cocker spaniel and she needs a name.”
“Well, what’s her personality like?”
“Dunno. Poor girl is terrified of everything!”
After I’d pestered asked several people for their genius input into naming my new dog, a coworker hit on the perfect idea: Give her a name she can grow into!
So, folks, meet my sweet little cocker spaniel, B’Elanna Torres (pronounced buh-lahn-ah). She’s not the first pet I’ve named after a Star Trek character, and she probably won’t be the last. Did I mention that I love Star Trek??
Found roaming the streets in North Texas, she’d been on her own or poorly cared for long enough to have fur matted to her skin, fleas, ticks, and all manner of worms. Yes, including heartworms. She was not an ideal adoption candidate for me, especially since I’d just lost a dog to cancer four months prior – and a mere 14 weeks after I had adopted him. But the moment I met her, I just couldn’t say no.
I brought her home and expected her to run around and check out every corner of the apartment. In fact, that’s what I thought she was doing, and after a half hour or so of a dog missing in action, I went looking for her. I finally found her curled up in a tight ball in the farthest, darkest corner of my closet. I sat down on the floor in front of her and spoke softly to her. She trembled. I reached for her. She snapped at me. I cooed and baby-talked to her. She trembled even more. My first inclination was to leave her alone, but a voice inside me said that was the wrong thing to do.
So, I scooped her up, carried her into the living room, and sat down in the recliner. Her entire body shook. The terror in her eyes broke my heart. No dog should know such fear of human touch and interaction. I stroked and petted her while we watched tv for a while. B’Elanna finally stopped trembling, but she was still stiff and guarded.
When bedtime rolled around, I carried her into the bedroom and sat her down on the bed. Big, sad eyes looked up at me, expecting harsh words, or even worse. I crawled into bed next to her, close enough to feel her heart pounding. That’s when the idea came to me: Sing to her! So I did. An hour passed and she finally – finally! – relaxed and slept.
The next morning, there was a different look in B’Elanna’s eyes. It wasn’t quite trust, but she was certainly considering it! I doubt she’ll ever trust me completely, but for her to trust me at all says an awful lot about resilience, forgiveness, and faith – lessons I learn from her all the time.
Today, B’Elanna happily bosses her bigger-but-younger sisters around (they ignore her), gives me all kinds of grief whenever I bring home a foster pup, and “helps me clean” the litter box. She’s quick to snuggle and slow to wake up in the mornings; she loves her toys and loves to zoom. In short, she’s delightful. And I’m the lucky one.